I do think all bloggers have a responsibility – to themselves more than anything – to drive towards accuracy of facts. And that PR people need to be very engaged in informing bloggers as to where facts are wrong. David gets at this in a recent post:
It’s a matter of personal style and their comfort level with the chosen approach and all that goes with it (eg: impact on audience perception). When Robert Scoble decided that the time may have come to do more fact checking, he didn’t go from being a blogger to a journalist. He went from being a writer that took more chances to a writer that took fewer. You’d be hard pressed to find a self-proclaimed journalist that hasn’t also moved in one direction or another for whatever reasons.
Opinion based on lies, incorrect facts and drivel in effect becomes so itself. We shouldn’t rely on the self-correcting features of the blogosphere as a proxy for not taking time to check facts – or at least indicate where they aren’t. I’ve deleted several blogs from my reader because of their ongoing propensity to express opinions as fact, or support them with nonsense.
Ultimately, while the choice rests with readers, hopefully the majority will support blogs that do take time to write as accurately as they can, leaving the rest jabbering, irrelevantly, away to themselves. David ends with some sage advice:
Thanks to the blogosphere, on relatively short order, I went from writing twice a week to 10-15 times a week and sometimes more. There are plenty more where I came from that are feeling and responding in-kind to that same pressure. But, as the established media community picks up the pace, there are those of us in it who would prefer to keep constant the number of chances we’re taking. But if the PR community doesn’t also reinvent itself to keep pace with the media revolution by responding to the fact checkers on blogopshere time, it will leave those writers with no choice but to take more chances. I don’t know about you, but if I were a PR professional, I sure wouldn’t want to be the guy that blew that one opportunity to contain the story that snow-balled into a disaster for the company I represent.
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime – Eminem